The Australian official coordinating the search for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 said Monday that a search ship had detected more signals consistent with those emitted from aircraft cockpit voice and flight data recorders — so-called “black boxes” — in an area of the Indian Ocean nearly three miles deep hundreds of miles off the western coast of Australia.
Retired Australian Air Chief Marshall Angus Houston told reporters at a news conference in Perth Monday that the latest detection of signals was “very encouraging” and “the best information we have,” but stressed that the new findings did not constitute discovery of the plane, which disappeared early on the morning of March 8.
“We have not found the plane,” said Houston, who added that it may take days to confirm whether signals picked up by the Australian ship Ocean Shield are indeed from the flight recorders. Houston said the position of the noise needs to be further refined and an underwater autonomous vehicle can be sent in to investigate.
“In very deep oceanic water,” Houston said, “nothing happens fast.” He said the ocean depth in the area is approximately 14,800 feet.
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